My autobiography
by David Weir
Hodder & Stoughton, £20.00
Reviewed by Craig McCracken
From WSC 303 May 2012

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David Weir's autobiography Extra Time is well timed, coinciding as it does with the apparent winding down of his playing career at the ripe old age of 41. Weir is a player who feels as if he belongs in an older, simpler era of the game – a proud professional more interested in captaining club and country than money and material possessions.

My love affair with Liverpool
by Dietmar Hamann
Headline, £16.99
Reviewed by Rob Hughes
From WSC 303 May 2012

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For a man whose diligently effective playing style did little to dispel that old cliche about cold German efficiency, Dietmar Hamann is a burning romantic at heart. At least when it comes to the institution he served so well for seven seasons. In this hugely engaging memoir, written with Malcolm McClean, he likens his "magnificent romance" with Liverpool to "a passionate, flaming and enduring love affair" with both club and city.

Life lessons of a professional footballer
by Richard Lee
Bennion Kearney, £9.99
Reviewed by Terry Staunton
From WSC 303 May 2012

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Times are tough during an economic downturn and unless you are one of the elite it is no different for footballers. At the end of the 2009-10 season, after a decade at Watford where he increasingly found himself warming the bench, goalkeeper Richard Lee felt it was time for a change, even if it meant dropping down a division and taking home a slimmer pay packet.

My Story
by Ralph Milne with Gary Robertson
Black And White, £14.99
Reviewed by Neil Forsyth
From WSC 277 March 2010

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In August 1991 Ralph Milne travelled to London and met a Chinese football agent in Green Park. After changing into a tracksuit behind a tree, Milne dribbled past the Chinese a few times before they switched to practising passing. Milne launched the ball with such force it caught the agent flush in the face, sending him into the mud. He got to his feet with the news that Milne had earned a short-term deal to play in Hong Kong. A few months before Green Park Milne had been on Man Utd’s books. A few years before that, he’d been one of the most exciting Scottish players of his generation. But a few years before that, he’d discovered alcohol.

The Alan Curtis Story
by Alan Curtis, with Tim Johnson and Stuart Sprake
Mainstream, £17.99
Reviewed by Paul Ashley-Jones
From WSC 278 April 2010

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Having grown up watching Alan Curtis from the terraces of the North Bank at Vetch Field, I expected to enjoy this book and wasn't disappointed. Curtis had three separate spells with Swansea as well as playing for Leeds, Southampton and Cardiff City (where he was voted Player of the Year despite his background) while winning 35 caps for Wales.

Celtic's Lost Legend
The George Connelly Story
by George Connelly with Bryan Cooney
Black and White, £17.99
Reviewed by Jonathan O'Brien
From WSC 272 October 2009 

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A Bhoy Called Bertie
The Bertie Auld Story

by Bertie Auld with Alex Gordon
Black and White, £17.99
Reviewed by Jonathan O'Brien
From WSC 272 Oct 2009 

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It’s a truism that long-retired players almost always produce autobiographies far more absorbing than those of their still-playing or recently quit counterparts. Any Celtic fan unfortunate enough to have parted with hard cash for the memoirs of Henrik Larsson, Paul Lambert or Gordon Strachan won’t be making the same mistake again in a hurry. Mercifully, these offerings from a pair of late-1960s/early-1970s cult figures are both a cut above the usual dross.

The Billy Abercromby Story
by Billy Abercromby with Fraser Kirkwood
Macdonald Media, £9.99
Reviewed by Archie MacGregor
From WSC 273 November 2009 

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Many would contend that if football is Scotland’s national game then the favourite pastime of those playing it is most surely drinking. There’s certainly a longstanding tradition of romanticising, and even celebrating, the alcohol-fuelled deeds that so many of Scotland’s leading players have presented us with over the years – from an inebriate Jimmy Johnstone floating helplessly down the Firth of Clyde in a rowing boat on the eve of the 1974 World Cup to the recent escapades of Allan McGregor and Barry Ferguson. Yet all this larking about all too often comes at a cost. Be it a truncated career, or worse, in the tragic cases of the likes of Jim Baxter, a truncated life.

How the World's Most Famous Athlete Tried to Conquer America
by Grant Wahl
Crown, £16.99
Reviewed by David Stubbs
From WSC 273 November 2009 

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David Beckham’s transfer to LA Galaxy was a surprising late chapter in the adventures of a footballer whose global superstar status exceeds by some distance his admittedly considerable abilities on the pitch. It was a slight return to the mid-1970s and the influx of internationals who chose to spend their sunset years in American soccer – Pelé and George Best among them. They had failed to galvanise interest in the game stateside but, it was optimistically argued, the infrastructure of MLS would enable Beckham to raise the profile and standards of the game more successfully than had his forebears.

The Duncan McKenzie Story
by Duncan McKenzie and David Saffer
Vertical Editions, £17.99
Reviewed by Mark O'Brien
From WSC 274 December 2009 

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Duncan McKenzie openly admits that his style of play divided opinions. There were those who saw him as a luxury player, while others considered him the sort of maverick who could unlock defences in an era, the 1970s, when men like Ron Harris and Tommy Smith would emasculate forwards as soon as look at them.

by Ossie Ardiles
Bantam Press, £18.99
Reviewed by Adam Powley
From WSC 275 January 2010

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There’s a telling description of Ossie Ardiles that the World Cup winner recounts early on in this suitably idiosyncratic book. His unnamed former manager at Huracán joked: “You know what number you should be wearing? You should be wearing a question mark on your back!” Difficult to tackle on the pitch, Ardiles is similarly elusive to pin down on the page. His intelligence and insight is obvious but the reader is left with only a partial portrait.

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